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RiverWise Schools

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has partnered with the City of Richmond Public School System and Communities in Schools to implement the RiverWise Schools program in Richmond, VA.

The RiverWise Schools program highlights the benefits of providing hands-on watershed and water quality education through the installation of stormwater management practices, such as, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, and native plant gardens or conservation landscapes. As these practices are installed on school properties, we engage and educate teachers and students about how they protect local waterways, additional ecosystem services they provide, and how these practices are integral to healthy streams and rivers. Upon installation of the practice, the long-term outdoor classrooms are available for teachers to use on a regular basis to provide real world knowledge of concepts tested in the Standards of Learning (SOL) exams. This project brings awareness to the effects of urban stormwater, how native plant gardens beautify and protect local streams, and how communities can work together to make an impact.

In 2015 we piloted this program with funds from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (CBRF) and Altria. During the 2015/2016 school year we worked with Binford Middle School and Boushall Middle School, in Richmond, VA, to install a rain garden on site and develop a watershed curriculum that focuses on stormwater pollution and management techniques that are effective at school and at home. These two schools were very excited about the possibilities of incorporating the hands on learning experience in their watershed curriculum and having the Alliance as a partner for technical assistance. With additional funding from CBRF and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation we will to continue to grow the program through 2017, with plans to work with Lucille Brown Middle School and Martin Luther King Middle School in the 2016/2017 school year and to continue work at Binford.

Binford Middle School

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Riverwise Education News

BWISE in Action

November
03,
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Since September, field trips for Henrico County 6th graders to Maymont have continued to be a great success. As part of the BWISE (Bay Watershed in Science and Education) program, students have been exploring the concept of watershed through hands-on testing of the Maymont creeks and participating in history, art and math stations. Enjoy this video that highlights all the great work done this Fall!

6th Graders Learn About the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

September
30,
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The Alliance is proud to be a partner in BWISE (Bay Watershed in Science Education)! In addition to training teachers this summer in MWEE (Meaningful Watershed Education Experience), the program recently connected students with Virginia Public Media and Light House Studio to create their own videos. 

Summer Learning for Teachers

August
29,
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August is often the time of year when teachers attend professional development trainings to prepare them for the upcoming school year. For Henrico County middle school teachers involved in Bay Watershed in Science Education (BWISE) project, this training took place at Maymont park on August 6 and August 7.  

Creating An Environmental Education Certification Program in Virginia

July
31,
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Do you know what it takes to be an environmental educator in the state of Virginia? Neither do I! But thanks to a dedicated group of individuals from across the state, it will soon be

Binford Middle School Project Honored for its Creativity

May
03,
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Taking a School by Storm, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay's schoolyard retrofit project at Binford Middle School in Richmond, VA, received an honorable mention in the Ultra-Urban category for the 2019 Best Urban Best

Coal Ash Debated Among 8th Graders as part of the Alliance’s RiverWise Schools Program

January
09,
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At the end of the summer, following the installation of the permeable pavement and rainwater harvesting sculpture at Binford Middle School in Richmond, Virginia, 8th grade science teacher, Brendan Trache approached Meredeth Dash about an

Rainwater Harvesting System Doubles as a Sculpture in our Virginia Project

August
31,
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When students return to school at Binford Middle School on Tuesday, September 4th, they will be the first people to walk across a freshly laid entrance made of permeable pavement, thanks to Binford’s Green School

RiverWise Education: Fostering the Next Generation of Environmental Stewards

December
23,
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How do we relate the importance of our environment to our daily actions? Are we teaching our children how to think about how their daily actions relate to the health of our

RiverWise Education and Children

September
01,
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How do we relate the importance of our environment to your daily actions? Are we teaching our children how to think of their actions as they relate to the health of our land and

Alliance Works at Byrd Elementary School for the Day

February
09,
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On Friday, January 16, 2015, Program Coordinator, Amy Robins and intern, Emily Clary, spent a day at Byrd Elementary School in Goochland, Virginia to discuss the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the importance of keeping

Students Sculpt Connection Between Streams and Bay

September
07,
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It’s never easy to bring nature into a classroom, but teachers and students at the Hampstead Elementary School in MD have found a way to recreate it in a fun, educational and brightly

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Meredeth Dash RiverWise Schools Program Coordinator, Virginia Office

Meredeth is the Alliance's part-time Program Coordinator for RiverWise Schools. She manages the Alliance's RiverWise Schools project.

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